Date: Thu, 25 Dec 1997 13:40:06 -0500 From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Cc: email@example.com Subject: textual unity of Mk? Crosstalkers, It seems to me that the assumption of textual unity of Mk, or of other Gospels, is a matter of pure faith with very little basis in reality. That so many scholars are assuming this is to be regretted. Glaring problems with identifying the original ending of Mk is a good item to consider for starters. In his HISTORICAL JESUS (p. 411), Crossan quotes this from Bruce Metzger: "Four endings of the Gospel according to Mark are current in the manuscripts." Is this alone not indicative of many stages of editing, and of many forms which Mk may have had in the earliest period? Also, Crossan cites this on p. 425 from Koester: "The problems for the reconstruction of the textual history of the canonical Gospels in the first century of transmission are immense. The assumption that the reconstruction of the best archetype for the manuscript tradition is more or less identical with the assumed autograph is precarious. The oldest known archetypes are separated from the autographs by more than a century. Textual critics of classical texts know that the first century of their transmission is the period on which the most serious corruptions occur. Textual critics of the NT writings have been surprisingly naive in this respect". This Koester quote came from: TITLE: Gospel traditions in the second century : origins, recensions, text, and transmission / studies by Barbara Aland ... [et al.] ; William L. Petersen, editor. -- PUBLISHED: Notre Dame, Ind. : University of Notre Dame Press, c1989. In his article THE TEXT OF THE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS IN THE SECOND CENTURY, included in this volume, Koester presents the theory that our best evidence for early text of Mk comes precisely from the quotations from Mk that are included in Mt and/or Lk. Where Mt or Lk versions of these passages disagree with our canonical Mk, there precisely we are likely to find the early version of Mk text that was later changed because of additional editing. In other words, "the minor agreements" of Mt and Lk against Mk are our important clues to the original shape of Mk. This theory makes a lot of sense to me, And here's another quote from the above article by Koester: "NT textual critics have been deluded by the hypothesis that the archetypes of the textual tradition which were fixed ca. 200 CE -- and how many archetypes for each Gospel? -- are (almost) identical with the autographs. This cannot be confirmed by any external evidence. On the contrary, whatever evidence there is indicates that not only minor, but also substantial revisions of the original texts have occurred during the first hundred years of the transmission." (p. 37) Merry Christmas, all! Best regards, Yuri.Click here to go one level up in the directory.